Classic Forms Revisited
Mary exhibited at Classic Forms Revisited at the Gallery of BC Ceramics in Vancouver, BC, from September 3 – 29, 2011.
I’ve always been inspired by the timeless elegance and grace of the classic vase form. That first inspiration is constantly being echoed in the vessels that I create. In this exhibition I am revisiting some of the different forms I have explored over the years to show how this one form has influenced my life’s work.
My career in clay began when I was 13 and enrolled in a ceramics course in high school. By time I was 15 I was throwing competently and making fairly decent pots, but even back then I began to notice how some pieces seemed to have more life to them then others. One day when I was struggling with a piece I asked my art teacher, Waine Ryzak, why this was. Looking thoughtfully at what I was working on, she said, “Mary, some of the best pieces have the feeling of a force inside them pushing up and out”. These words, like the classic vase form, have also given direction to my work.
My focus has always been on expressing the beauty and strength of pure form and then creating unique glazes that will enhance my vessels. Over the years I have developed lithium glazes that can imbue my work with the look of unearthed antiquities. I also use crawl glazes which are designed to shrink as they fire revealing the terra sigillata slip which was applied underneath. Working like a painter, I layer various glazes in successive firings to build up a richness of surface colour and texture on my works.